Will an Employee Handbook Really Help Your New Hires? 24 May 2019


What words come to mind when you think about employee handbooks? Maybe “boring” or “pointless”? As a business owner, you may also think of “expensive.”

If you only think of negative associations, you may question whether an employee handbook is necessary. While employee handbooks may seem like a bad investment, they’re essential to a business’s hiring process.

An employee manual helps businesses retain new hires. It brings new employees up to date on the company and explains how they fit into it. A manual also protects you from lawsuits and legal problems.

In fact, employee handbooks have many positive benefits. With that in mind, let’s look into how they help both employees and employers. Then, we’ll discover how you can create an engaging and useful employee handbook for your business.

Employee Handbooks Teach Your New Hires What They Need to Know

Nobody likes being the new person who doesn’t know what to do. An employee handbook explains what’s expected of new hires and how they fit into the business. It also answers most questions about company procedures.

Employee manuals introduce employees to your company culture. Outlining the goals of your company helps people acclimate to their job and shows them where the business is heading.

A handbook also describes benefits, from vacation days to bonuses. Breaking down how staff can take advantage of benefits saves new hires from having to ask their new boss a million questions.

In effect, an employee handbook teaches new hires what they need to know. Handbooks do more than educate new staff, though. They also protect your business from lawsuits.

Keeping Your Business Out of Legal Trouble Is Only a Handbook Away

Teaching employees your company’s policies protects you from employee lawsuits. Staff can’t use ignorance as an excuse if your policies are in your employee manual. A handbook also educates your managers on legal requirements and explains how to implement systems.

Otherwise, your business could be held responsible if your managers do something illegal. For example, a former employee sued Wegmans, a grocery store chain, when a manager violated her protected right to medical leave.

In such cases, an employee handbook shields your company from liability. Having detailed procedures available to all employees promotes transparency. When everyone is aware of the company policies, you have a stronger defense against lawsuits.

An employee manual is essential for any company, but that doesn’t make it easy to write one. How can you create an educational employee handbook that’s still interesting?

A staff member sitting and reading their company’s employee handbook

How to Write an Employee Handbook Your Staff Will Read

Your handbook won’t help anyone if they don’t read it. Use these guidelines to create an employee handbook your staff will want to read:

  • Have a clear business identity. Use your branding, culture, and values as the basis for your manual. A personal touch makes it unique and relevant to your employees.
  • Remember the purpose. Knowing why you’re writing the handbook keeps it focused and to the point. While some sections may be fun to add, reminding yourself of the handbook’s purpose keeps you on track.
  • Use the right people. If you have writers on staff, get them involved in creating your handbook. Otherwise, outsource the project to a content creation business.
  • Do your research. There are tons of entertaining employee manuals out there. Explore how other companies have created their handbooks to gather ideas for yours.
  • Have fun with formatting. Add different graphics and colors to liven up boring information. You can also use videos or make the reading process interactive with games and quizzes.  
  • Accessibility is king. Creating an online, mobile-friendly version of your handbook ensures it’s easy for your staff to access.

An employee handbook helps your new hires get settled. It also protects your business from legal problems. Are you missing out on the benefits of handbooks?

Don’t Miss Out on the Benefits of an Employee Handbook

What’s the first word that comes to your mind when you think about employee handbooks now? Has it changed to “vital” or, perhaps, “essential”? Creating your employee manual is a crucial part of your hiring process. A handbook brings your new hires quickly up to speed on how they fit into your company.

Nobody likes reading a boring book. By following a few important guidelines, you can produce an employee manual that’s fun and interesting. Plus, your handbook can do more than just educate new hires. It can help your business grow more productive.